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Tags: south korea | stealth | fighter jets | purchase | u.s. | missile program

US Sells SKorea 20 F-35A Stealth Fighters for $2.9B

By    |   Wednesday, 27 December 2023 09:22 PM EST

South Korea said Wednesday it has agreed to purchase 20 F-35A Lightning II fighter jets from the U.S. for $2.9 billion, expanding its fleet of stealth fighters amid the looming threat from North Korea's developing ballistic missile program.

A letter of acceptance for the purchase was signed Dec. 8, The Korea Times reported, citing the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), which is responsible for purchasing assets for the nation's Ministry of Defense. In September, the State Department approved a deal worth an estimated $5.06 billion to sell up to 25 F-35A jets to South Korea.

The State Department also approved Dec. 1 the sale of several F-35 munitions, including 39 AIM-120C-8 advanced medium range air-to-air missiles, to South Korea for about $271 million, Stars and Stripes reported.

DAPA said the new fighter jets are scheduled for delivery starting in 2027 and will feature substantial enhancements in threat-response capabilities, encryption and security functionalities, and armed operational capacities compared to their predecessors, the Times reported.

"The F-35A stealth fighter is operational not only in our air force but also in 17 other countries, totaling over a thousand stealth jets. It is a proven high-performance aircraft," a DAPA official told the Times.

South Korea previously acquired 40 F-35A jets from the U.S. from 2019 to 2022 as part of a $7 billion deal, but its air force reportedly retired one of the jets that was seriously damaged in January 2022 after a bird strike.

The F-35A is part of the fifth-generational lineup of stealth fighter jets manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

  • The F-35A is designed for conventional runways and is the most common stealth fighter in the U.S. Air Force, according to Lockheed Martin.
  • The F-35B lands vertically like a helicopter and can take off over short distances, allowing it to operate from short-field bases and a range of air-capable ships. It is used by the Marine Corps and by Great Britain and Italy.
  • The F-35C is the U.S. Navy's first stealth fighter and the world's only fifth generation, long-range stealth strike fighter. It was designed and built explicitly for use on aircraft carriers and is operated exclusively by the Navy.

On Nov. 15, according to Stars and Stripes, U.S. F-35Bs and F-16 Fighting Falcons flew alongside South Korean F-35As and F-15K Slam Eagles to escort a U.S. B-52H Stratofortress bomber from Seoul to the Yellow Sea in an airpower demonstration.

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
South Korea said Wednesday it has agreed to purchase 20 F-35A Lightning II fighter jets from the U.S. for $2.9 billion, expanding its fleet of stealth fighters amid the looming threat from North Korea's developing ballistic missile program.
south korea, stealth, fighter jets, purchase, u.s., missile program
398
2023-22-27
Wednesday, 27 December 2023 09:22 PM
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